I was going through the Wikipedia article on succubus where I found Yakshinis being referred to be succubi in Hindu tradition:

In India, the succubus is referred to as Yakshini and are mythical beings within Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain mythology. Yakshinis are the female counterpart of the male Yaksha, and they are attendees of Kubera, the Hindu god of wealth who rules in the mythical Himalayan kingdom of Alaka. They are the guardians of the treasure hidden in the earth and resemble fairies. Yakshinis are often depicted as beautiful and voluptuous, with wide hips, narrow waists, broad shoulders, and exaggerated, spherical breasts.

Is Wikipedia correct in saying that Yakshinis are succubi? I am asking this because I have found Wikipedia to be a not very reliable source in the past.

Note: For those of you who are not aware of what a succubus is, it is a supernatural entity in Western esoteric traditions, that takes form of a woman to seduce men, usually through sexual activity. Also keep in mind that Succubi is the plural of succubus.

  • 1
    According to the Wiki article linked: The male counterpart is the incubus. Religious traditions hold that repeated sexual activity with a succubus may result in the deterioration of health or mental state, or even in death. First of all, for Apasras there is no male counterpart, for Yakshinis there is- Yaksha. And secondly, cohabiting with Apasras do not lead to death. So, Apasra is not the correct answer.
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 18, 2017 at 16:59
  • Just as an aside, succubi was an old Western explanation for "nocturnal emissions." Sex was considered sinful, almost evil. So, it was better to blame an "evil demoness" than to admit it is a natural process for a pubescent boy. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 21:35

3 Answers 3


I think wikipedia is wrong in this case. Let me explain:

The closest archetype in Hinduism to the western concept of Succubus seems to be Apsaras or Water-Nymphs. Scriptures abound with examples of Apsaras distracting Rishis in their tapas by employing sexual tactics1. An example that springs to mind is Viswamitra-Menaka encounter.

1. Many a time they are sent by Gods such as Indra who fear the power/release mortals gain via Tapasya

  • But Apsaras don't try to suck the soul out of people.
    – user9969
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 17:29
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    True, which is why i've stated this is the closest matching archetype. I doubt that we will find an exact functional match to some given selecta of western archetypes of demons etc,. with Celestial beings in Hinduism. Moreover, this answer shows that Apsaras are closer than Yakshinis to the type of being called Succubi - which is sufficient to answer the question negatively. Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 0:29

As you mentioned in your question that yaksha as a species is widely mentioned in hindu, buddhist, and jain religions.

In some way it is referrered as succubus or something related to it.

In jain tradition yaksha means protector deity. Ganesha, for example is a yaksha as per jain belief.

In Buddhism there are species similar to yaksha and they have dakinis too which is different from hindu belief.

Like gandharvas and kinnaras there are yaksha. And yakshini are invoked for various purposes. Most of which are materialist enjoyment.

However, we have legends of yakshinis making relations with humans and there are.also procedures where she is worshipped as a mother.

So it.ultimately depends.on the doer and his.inner intentions.

So in a way its true but for everyone.

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    But succubi are like parasites. They do more harm than good.
    – user9969
    Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 21:07
  • Usually they do not come unless invoked. And its human who.wants powers and.other benefit from.yaksha.and not.vice versa. So.its not like a.vampire or.something Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 21:09

No no. Wikipedia is fully wrong to relate succubus with yakshini. Neither yakshini nor apsaras are succubus. Reason both yakshini and apsaras are of light ( not dark ambient) supernatural beings. Some comments here says apsaras is succubus which is absolutely wrong. Apsaras are more of light platform than yakshini. Apsaras belong to Gods kingdoms whereas yakshni belong to kingdom of demigods. You can see yakshini deities in outside of padmanabha vishnuntemple and many other temples. This symbolically means they are guardian deities protecting treasure. Both apsaras and yakshini serves the gods. But they also become allies to human. To be more precise yakshini and apsaras live in intermediate dimensions between dimensions of God and human. They are helpful to humans too if developed close relationship etc. But succubus is clearly mentioned as a "demon". So succubus is clearly in dark dimensions alone it cannot resist light. Finally Yakshini and apsaras are manifestation of shakti goddesses so this should explain all that yakshini is definitely not a succubus. Succubus = energy vampires. This is drain you unlike apsaras or yakshini.


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